Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger

The DWI Arrest

The Stages Of A Drunk Driving Arrest


The police patrol the highways and hangout in parking lots near popular bars in order to locate suspected drunk drivers. The police cannot simply detain or arrest someone coming out of a bar. They must observe them committing a minor traffic infraction so they can begin their drunk driving investigation.


The officer will ask you to participate in some standard field sobriety tests to determine whether you are able to drive. Two of these tests are designed for failure and are split-attention tests. None of the three tests have scores to correlate to particular blood-alcohol content.


Make no mistake, this is an interrogation. The officer is going to ask you questions that will assist in proving the case for drunk driving. Unfortunately, the Miranda warnings may be inapplicable to this stage of the investigation.


The final component to a DWI investigation is the submission to the breath test. All this means is that the offender will blow into a tube connected to an electronic device that is capable of measuring the amount of alcohol in your blood based upon the amount of alcohol particles transmitted in your breath.

We Can Help

Serving Ascension Parish
" Lawyers should be chosen because they can demonstrate a history rich in human traits, the ability to care, the courage to fight, the will to win, a concern for the human condition, a passion for justice and simple uncompromising honesty. These are the traits of the lawyer." ... Gerry Spence

An arrest is very stressful- even for drunk driving offenses. Often, this is the only time good people will be on the wrong side of the law. Suddenly you are faced with loosing your freedom, family and livelihood. We have a team of real trial lawyers who are ready to help. We represent innocent people all the time and are ready to handle this burden for you. Don't let yourself get buried in details or led astray by people claiming to be real trial lawyers. Contact us instead. If you've been arrested for a DWI, we can help and are eager to answer all of your questions. If you are inquiring about someone who is jailed, simply let us know and we can schedule a confidential attorney-client visit at the prison. We also accept collect calls from our incarcerated clients. Simply put, we are accessible to our clients.

  • Dedicated Legal Assistant

    Every case is assigned to a single staff member who can answer routine questions about the case.

  • We Accept Collect Calls

    We routinely filed collect calls from our jailed clients when the assigned attorney is available. We provide this service at no cost to the client.

  • Team Approach

    Your defense is a collaborative effort with many seasoned trial attorneys providing input for trial strategy.

  • Attorney Access

    You can schedule an appointment to meet with your assigned lawyer or our firm's managing partner.

Our Partners

Meet the firm's partners.
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James P. Manasseh

Managing Partner
James P. Manasseh, a 1988 graduate of the LSU Law Center and a member of the Louisiana Bar Association, is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Louisiana Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Eastern, Middle and West District Courts of Louisiana, the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern District of Texas and for the U.S. Claims Court. Manasseh has also been granted pro hac vice status in the past to handle cases in numerous states. Manasseh is a former partner of Regan, Manasseh & Boshea with offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Oakland, California. He managed cases and the administration of offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Manasseh was instrumental in growing the practice into the twenty-second largest law firm and the largest criminal defense practice in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan area (source: the Baton Rouge Business Report). Manasseh became one of the youngest attorneys ever to successfully argue a case at the United States Supreme Court in 1991, Foucha vs. Louisiana. Over the course of his career, Manasseh has served as lead counsel in thousands of cases ranging from serious personal injury matters to appellate cases and all types of felony and misdemeanor criminal defense cases. Manasseh has represented clients in a vast array of legal matters over his career. His firm has engaged in representation in international class action litigation, construction litigation, along with professional sports and entertainment fields. Manasseh’s success has led to thousands of clients’ futures being saved though his trial and negotiation skills. James P. Manasseh, an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell is listed as one of the top 100 trial lawyers for 2013 and 2014 by the National Association of Trial Lawyers. The law firm of Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Bélanger, PLC was presented with the Presidents Award for Appreciation by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and was named by LSU 100 as one of the top 100 fastest growing Tiger businesses in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Son of Paul Manasseh, the first public relations director of the Denver Broncos and long-time LSU sports information director, James has served as the interior public address announcer in The Paul Manasseh Press Box at all LSU home football games since 1982.
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William Robert Gill

Senior Partner- Head of Livingston Office
William Robert (“Robby”) Gill, an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell is a 1990 graduate of the Southern University Law Center and a member of the Louisiana Bar Association, is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Louisiana Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Eastern and Middle District Circuit Courts of Louisiana and the United States Army Court of Military Review.  Gill has also been granted pro hac vice status to handle cases in Mississippi, Texas and California.  Gill served on active duty as a lawyer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), achieving the rank of Captain.  He was a prosecutor at Fort Ord, California and a trial defense counsel at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and two Army Achievement Medals. His court martial trials included cases of attempted murder, drugs, rape, sexual assault, child molestation, conduct unbecoming, and assorted felonies.    As a military defense counsel, Gill eagerly took on many supposedly unwinnable cases.  Two of his most notable cases were United States v. Pettway and United States v. George, both very difficult rape cases.  After his honorable discharge, Gill practiced with Reagan, Manasseh & Boshea, one of the largest criminal defense firms in Louisiana with offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Oakland, California.  He was selected to attend Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  He then opened his own firm in Baton Rouge with James P. Manasseh, where he continues to practice criminal defense and personal injury law. Gill enjoys putting his energy, experience, and skills to work in both civilian and military settings.  Among his more memorable trial cases are California v. Gipson (murder), State v. Kolb (sexual abuse), State v. McNeal (attempted murder), State v. Mire (felon in possession of illegal firearm), State v. Tyler (murder), and, most recently, State v. Hooks (murder), State v. Mack (murder), State v. Scott (aggravated rape), and State v. Hymel EndFragment (aggravated rape), State v. Troullier (sexual battery), State v. Higgins (2nd degree attempted murder), State v. Witz (forcible rape).   
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James G. Knipe III

Junior Partner
James G. Knipe III joined the firm in 2002 and devotes his practive to both criminal defense and personal injury cases. After obtaining a degree in History at Louisiana State University (LSU), Mr. Knipe went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center. As an alumnus of Catholic High School of Baton Rouge and as a member of several local professional organizations, Mr. Knipe has established and maintains many ties to the Baton Rouge community. A family man, Mr. Knipe understands his clients’ priorities and protects those things that are most important. Mr. Knipe has represented countless individuals throughout a broad spectrum of cases from misdemeanors and driver’s license issues through homicide and large quantity narcotics.  Among his most memorable cases include: State v. Thomas (granting of post-conviction relief for a man serving a life sentence) State v. Kent (conviction for negligent injuring reversed); and State v. Coupe (conditional release of insanity). In regards to DWI defense, Mr. Knipe is one of a very few lawyers in Louisiana who has attained membership in the National College for DUI Defense, a national organization made up of the top DWI/DUI defense attorneys who collectively share information and tactics to provide successful representation for those charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  Mr. Knipe has completed Standardized Field Sobriety courses identical to those given to police officers and regularly gives seminars on DWI defense, including a yearly seminar hosted by the Louisiana Public Defender Board. Mr. Knipe is a lifetime member of Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, member of Baton Rouge Bar for Justice and member of the Dean Henry McMahon Inn of Court.  Recently, Mr. Knipe was named as a “Rising Star” in the practice area of Criminal Defense in a 2013 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. 
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André Bélanger

Junior Partner
André Bélanger, a graduate of Loyola University, is a highly-respected criminal defense attorney serving the people of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and surrounding areas of Ascension Parish and New Orleans, for one of Baton Rouge’s top-25 law firms.  In his 15 years of practicing law, Mr. Bélanger has handled thousands of criminal cases at both the pre-trial and trial stage, including approximately 200 trials. This trial experience includes homicide defense and prosecution, large drug conspiracies and fraud cases making Belanger one of the few attorneys capable of handling even the largest, most complex federal cases.  Having spent years devoted to developing a top tier regional law practice for federal court and state court litigation, Mr. Bélanger is admitted to practicing law in all federal courts in both Louisiana, Mississippi, the United States Supreme Court and the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  A strong commitment to the justice system, Mr. Bélanger has begun to forge his trial skills in the criminal courtroom in an effort to establish his own personal injury trial practice. This is a major boon for his clients, as few personal injury “trial attorneys” have appreciable jury trial experience. Mr. Bélanger is a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s Top 1%, was also recently nominated to the National Trial Lawyers Association’s “Top 100 Lawyers” list for the third year in a row, as well as recognized as one of Louisiana’s Super Lawyers. Outside of a law office, André  is happily married to his loving wife, Ashley, with whom he has two beautiful children, Luc and Mattheiu. He’s a firm believer that it’s because of their support that he has achieved so much success. When they aren’t spending quality time outdoors, they proudly offer their time to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Baton Rouge.

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